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Voluntary Male Circumcision Lowers Risk of HIV Infection, Follow-Up Study Confirms

September 4, 2013

A follow-up survey to a previous study showing that voluntary medical male circumcision can significantly reduce the risk of HIV infection confirms that finding, Agence France-Presse/GlobalPost reports. "Bertran Auvert, whose pioneering work, unveiled in 2006, helped unleash a circumcision campaign in ... sub-Saharan Africa," and colleagues returned to Orange Farm township in South Africa to survey more than 3,300 men, asking them to have HIV tests and answer questions regarding their sexual behavior, according to AFP. "Multiple partners and condom use were the same, whether the men were circumcised or uncircumcised, the investigation found ... [b]ut the risk of HIV infection was 57 to 61 percent lower among those who had been circumcised," the news agency writes. "The finding 'gives hope that the epidemic can be reduced in settings [in sub-Saharan Africa] where most men are uncircumcised,' says the study, published in the peer-reviewed journal PLOS Medicine," AFP states (9/3). The authors add, "The main implication of this study is that the current rollout of adult [voluntary medical male circumcision], endorsed by UNAIDS and WHO, and supported by international agencies such as PEPFAR, the Global Fund [to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria], and by donors like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, should be accelerated," according to a PLOS press release (9/3).

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